More Thaw. 

Starting to work on the boarding school exhibition again. Such an amazing, healing process, to pay attention to my old school photograph. 

…. And to experiment with some variations on the metaphors of “facelessness ” 
Complicity. Institutionalism. “Blind spot”

” Masks” “Gagging” “speechless” 

Obliteration. It has brought feelings of guilt, rage and then gradual, gentle resolution. 

Painting little masks on the girls and blindfolds in the staff made me feel like a terrorist. An act of violence. Besides, the ink on the photocopy kept slipping through. The features seemed not to want to be painted out and kept coming back!

To be so caught up in such nastiness feels horrible. It no longer feels relevant or “me” … How I want to be. 
I don’t want to drag the past around with me in a way that breeds anger. 


Rather than “deface” I have finally been re-facing. Paying attention to every feature of each girl. 

Just the way a collar sits or rides askew tells a story. Multiply by 400!

Touching these faces with my brush feels like a beautiful, healing acknowledgment as I begin to thaw and feel myself a part of something which all those years ago made me feel so alienated. 

I shall probably have to paint all of them now….. Here are the first 130 or so. 

What it is to paint from such a place.

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Tangerine Tree:        Oil Paintings to Browse

Slovakian sleeve embroidery design. 

Polish embroidery design.

“How lovely was my valley” Sicily

Bluebell Moor… (below hound tor)

Study in Rose 

“Little Greeks” from a fresco in Sotira monastery, Kotrona.

Ludwig, my friend and muse.

Michaelmas Daisies



Swedish Autumn …Dawn

“Little Jenny at boarding school”

(This points towards another exhibition in February 2018, entitled boarding school survivors)

I can now order prints of any of these paintings.

Post cards, poster size. Greetings cards. Maybe even a lovely calendar?

email me on and let me know what you’d like.

Tell me in good time and I will do my best to get them to you before Christmas!

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Tangerine Tree exhibition. Little water colours to Browse. 

Camping in a Danish Garden. 

Blüthner in Bjårka Såby

Icon in Bjårka Säby 

Swedish Colour Palette. 

Hostel Szarotka, Malbork, Poland

Rural Poland. Nearing Wotsławek 

Auschwitz: spectacle case

Lenka’s beautiful, sturdy 83 year old grandmother

The water colour version… Slovakian sleeve design. 

Traditional dung and straw stove in Pesci Anna family home

Carpet bag in Budapest ethnographical museum. 

Ragi’s valley. Sicily

Variation I. I loved this view

Variation II

“La Pompa” (Ragi’s kitchen sink)

Talk for the Catania cycling club

Patron, Greek restaurant

“Ecclesia” Exochori, Greece

Painful feet, Proastio. Greece. 

Kardamili. Home of Patrick Leigh-Fermor

Glum Icon in an egg cup. Areopolis. 

(On the west side the icons looked stern. On the east side of the Mani, they were much more smiley)

Things to do in a Mani stone tower house. 

“The flush of beauty round the world forces my soul to seek her depths….”

“Soul verse ” from the calendar of the soul. 

It turned into a magical journey. 

These can be printed and made up into post cards/greeting cards/posters. 

If you’d like to place an order, please email me on

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Poetry in motion

This wrote itself after a workshop with Bruce Fertman

His approach to the Alexander Technique is deeply attractive. How he combines presence with exquisite sensitivity as he brings his hands and thoughts together. This is a touch that touches more than the surface. 

His writing about the work is equally attractive. 

I have attempted to express something of the quality, joy and peace that enters the room as he works with one of our group. The beauty of our faces as we observe one another. 


“Stay right there”

There, where she can receive herself.

Where she can perceive herself.

As she is.

No judgement, only warm, friendly curiosity.

The curiosity that simply asks a little question, 

here and there.

We take in the beauty of her form. 

A sculpture worn by many years of life’s mouldings and brushings.

Bumps and blips.

The slights and slips that pass in the night.

A foot tells a tale of turning in.

A curl of the elbow, shrug of the shoulder.

A twist, a shallow breath, a chewed lip.
“How are you doing?”

A whisper of smoke drifts in with the question.

It coils and spreads, sings and croons, apparently aimless, yet not so.
 “Be here”
A coyote calls on the plain, howls to the moon and remembers.
She settles back a little. 

Shifts her weight. 

Takes a look around and eases out.. 

Softens and spreads.

A spell unbound.

She    is     so
Come take a walk.
Come home.

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Busy B

For several months I have been riding a wave of artistic activity.
“Burning the candle”

 Earlier in the year I painted a lot. 

The result is a set of oil paintings which revisit some of the most memorable of scenes from my Beethoven by Bike travels… with more than just a nod to Beethoven. 

There are moments in the last 3 sonatas, especially the very last, (opus 111 ) when the radiance and relief of dawn whispers into being. 

It is this sublime essence of nature and her cycle of the day that I have attempted to portray. 

To accompany these there are sweet memories that for me encapsulate the personality of the countries I passed through. 

Embroidery designs. 

A fresco. (Greece, where else?!)

The view from a friend’s farmhouse. 

As usual, inspiration crashes in rather late in the day. (I’m adept at creating a raft of jobs at the 11th hour!)

So in addition, around each of the “grown up” oils, there will be an orbit of little prints of water colours that I painted while I travelled. 

This gives a context of time and place…. Little gems of character. 

As I reached places of especial significance, phrases from the sonatas would flood my being. An intense wash of gratitude. Fulfillment. A split second of peace. 
The northern-most tip of Denmark. 

Crossing the Danube in December. 

The southern-most tip of Greece. 

So beside each of the “dawn ” paintings, will sit an extract of a score that I played from as I found pianos. 

This to epitomise and distil the sense of the painting, the music, the experience of life in those wonderful moments. 

The swell of appreciation is something that I hope will infuse the Tangerine Tree Café in Totnes for the month of October. 
Do come along if you are in the area. 
You could even order some gorgeous Christmas cards!

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Schumann wrecked his hands…

I played a little of my favourite Schumann today. Well, I couldn’t really play it, but there were glimpses of its beauty coming through. 

Even playing quietly is very painful if there is just a hint of a stretch. 

His turbulent mental health and anguish gives his music an exquisite poignancy and bathed in the wonderful rich sound of my Steinway, I fell for it this afternoon. 

Just for a few hours I felt so bereft…. I love playing. It has been so vital and nurturing…. my solace and my refuge for so many years.

I find it unimaginably hard to envisage life without being able to rely on it.

What a luxury to be surrounded by beauty of all kinds and how precious that is. 

I hope this is teaching me never to take things for granted. Perhaps in time my thumbs will settle down. 

On a positive note, my beautiful Dulcie has almost made up her mind.  My priority is probably the bow that is easiest to hold. Good job it’s the one we both like the best. 

I shall have to go and stroke her with it before she settles down for the night.  


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A suitable Beau

Dulcie has started dating. We have narrowed it down from 10 eager suitors to 4.

They have nicknames. 

“The Steinway” (handsome, rich, full bodied)

“The Challenge” (sleek, rather unusual, not immediately comfortable, slow to reveal themself)

“Blue velvet” (tasteful, sensitive, even tempered, mildly melancholic)

“Orange velvet”…. Blue’s twin (tasteful, sensitive and of a sunny disposition)

Yes, monogamy is probably wise…. or?

(But hey, she gets to give them each a jolly good try for the next fortnight) 

Who will she choose?

We shall see. 

How wonderful that I get to be a fly on the wall so to speak…..

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